Explore our resources during income tax season

Calculating taxesNorman Public Library Central again will offer multiple resources for local residents as they face the income tax season.

Two separate groups will offer free assistance for those making less than $53,000 per year.

Trained volunteers from the University of Oklahoma College of Law will be on hand for VITA Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sessions, from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays beginning Jan. 31 and running through April 12.

The AARP’s Tax Aide program will have its volunteers at the library from 5 to 9 p.m. Mondays, starting Feb. 5 and going through April 9.

Taxpayers are asked to bring the following items:

Proof of identification – Picture ID

Social Security Cards for self, spouse and dependents or a Social Security Number verification letter issued by the Social Security Administration or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) assignment letter for self, spouse and dependents

Proof of foreign status, if applying for an ITIN

Birth dates for self, spouse and dependents on the tax return

Wage and earning statement(s) Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, 1099-Misc from all employers

Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)

A copy of last year’s federal and state returns if available

Proof of bank account routing numbers and account numbers for Direct Deposit, such as a blank check

Total paid for daycare provider and the daycare provider’s tax identifying number (the provider's Social Security Number or the provider's business Employer Identification Number) if appropriate

Help is given on a first-come, first-served basis and no advance registration is taken.

The library also has resources for printing forms or accessing online tax forms. However, library staff are not certified in tax preparation or to answer questions about filling out forms themselves.

Discover your inner performer at Acting 101 series for teens

Clapper boardGet an introduction to the world of acting with Norman Public Library Central and its upcoming series “Acting 101.”

Teens ages 12 to 17 are invited to attend the five-class series, beginning from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 30, and running at that time the next four Tuesdays, Feb. 6, 13, 20 and 27.

The instructor for the classes is Lazara Gonzalez, a television writer and director who also has worked as a script coach and child actor coach in movies including Get Low and The Blind Side.

Teens will learn acting basics such as concentration, listening, accessing emotions, relaxation and imagination. Participants will also be taught the basics to scene analysis, understanding dramatic action, characterization, how to read a script and develop a monologue. No prior acting experience is required.

At the conclusion of the series, actors will showcase their new skills by performing their monologue for their peers, friends, and family.

Registration is required in advance to participate.

Early literacy explored in variety of activities for kids

Kid playsNorman Public Library Central promotes early literacy and learning through the variety of activities presented by the library’s Children’s Librarians for families with small children.

The schedule of events for children ages 5 and under scheduled during February includes:

Music Connection (for ages 3 to 7) – 6 p.m. Thursdays, Feb. 1, 8, 15 and 22

Rhythm Babies (for children 24 months and younger) – 10 a.m. Fridays, Feb. 2, 9, 16 and 23

Saturday Story Time (for ages 2 to 5) – 11 a.m. Saturdays, Feb. 3, 10 and 24

Story Time (for ages 2 to 5) – 10 a.m. Mondays, Feb. 5, 12, 19 and 26

Baby Story Time (for children 24 months and younger) – 10 a.m. Wednesdays, Feb. 7, 14, 21 and 28

Toddler Explorers (for children 6 months to 3 years) – 10 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 8

Family Play Time/La Hora de Jugar en Familia11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 17

Registration is not required in advance to attend any of the activities.

Array of activities featured after school

STEAM logoNorman Public Library Central welcomes school-age children for multiple regular events scheduled each week.

Unless otherwise noted, registration in advance is not required. The schedule for February features:

STEAM Tweens (ages 8 to 12) – 4 p.m. Thursdays, Feb. 1, 8, 15 and 22

Music Connection (for ages 3 to 7) – 6 p.m. Thursdays, Feb. 1, 8, 15 and 22

Minecraft: Creative (ages 6 to 12) – 4 p.m. Fridays, Feb. 2, 9, 16 and 23

Minecraft: Survival (ages 6 to 12) – 5 p.m. Fridays, Feb. 2, 9, 16 and 23 (Space is limited for the Minecraft programs so registration for those is required in advance.)

Sensory Sensitive Story Time (ages 4 to 10) – 4 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6

After School Special (kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grades) – 3:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Feb. 7, 14, 21 and 28

Sit! Stay! Read! (for age 11 and under) – 4:30 p.m. Mondays, Feb. 12 and Feb. 26. Those wanting a timeslot for the therapy dog reading program Sit! Stay! Read! can register for a 15-minute timeslot by calling the library at 701-2630.

13th annual Crowns Tea returns to the library

Crowns TeaNorman Public Library Central welcomes the community to a Black History Month celebration, its 13th annual Crowns Tea, on Sunday, Feb. 25, at the library.

There will be two seatings for the Tea, at 1:30 and 3 p.m., each taking place in the library’s Lowry Room.

The Crowns Tea has become a tradition at Norman’s downtown library. The event regularly draws about 400 participants – mostly women, although a few men do find their way in – for fellowship and a celebration of the church hat among women in the African-American community.

The Crowns Tea is based on the photo essay “Crowns: Portraits of Black Women in Church Hats,” which celebrates the tradition of the church hat. Guests are welcome to wear their Sunday best and the library always is filled with dozens of colorful hats.

This year’s event will feature food, entertainment and a chance to pose for photographs.

Black History Month has been celebrated since 1970, with its origins going back to 1926 and Negro History Week, which first was proposed by historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History.

Free tickets for the Crowns Tea may be picked up while they last at the Information Services desk inside Norman Central.

The Crowns Tea is made possible thanks to a grant from the Norman Arts Council and support from the Friends of the Norman Libraries.